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M21 AFC East Preview

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Old 08-02-2020, 02:52 PM   #1
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M21 AFC East Preview

This weekís deep dive is in what I think will be the most competitive division in the league this cycle, the AFC East. On paper, this division has two users who should be perennial super bowl contenders but whose teams also need some building in Arlen (Dolphins) and Pest (Jets). We also have two guys who have had previous stints in AWFL, returning and looking to set the league on notice with GStar (Bills) and CoachLewis (Patriots). I wouldnít be shocked to see any of these 4 teams rise up and win this division in season 1.

Team Ratings**Per Madden School, pre-release**
Bills-81 OVR (T-10th)
Dolphins-76 OVR (32nd)
Jets-78 OVR (T-30th)
Patriots-81 OVR (T-10th)

Buffalo Bills Owner-GStar

Key Players-
WR Stefon Diggs (92 OVR)
The Bills paid a premium price for Diggs and they need him to be the premium player their offense has been missing for many years. He is surrounded by some weapons in fellow wideouts Cole Beasley (83) and John Brown (82) as well as HB Devin Singletary (82) but the offense will come down to how Diggs acclimates with QB Josh Allen (77)

CB TreíDavious White (90 OVR) Tre is already in the elite tier of CBís as one of only 5 guys rated 90+ at cycle start. He leads what may be one of the best secondary units in the league with partner Levi Wallace (78) and S duo Micah Hyde (88) and Jordan Poyer (85)

Building Blocks
QB Josh Allen (77 OVR)
It is vital for the Bills that big arm QB Allen can develop into a special talent. The Bills have invested in weapons around him and the defense is solid. Allen is the puzzle piece that can make this a special team.

DT Ed Oliver (81 OVR) Tough choice between Oliver and MLB T. Edmunds but Oliver is still only 22 and has the freakish athleticism (81 spd, 87 acc, 89 str) that could make him the next Aaron Donald. The AFC East is filled with young QBís who will be having nightmares of Oliver all cycle long.

Outlook
GStar had a solid end of cycle as the Browns last year as he adapted to the AWFL sliders and I think he could be a sleeper to watch in the AFC this year. The Jets and Dolphins are sleeping giants but they are both starting on the lower end of the ratings and the Bills have a very good defense and the weapons on offense to be successful. This could be GStarís window of opportunity in this division.

Miami Dolphins Owner-Arlen
Key Players
QB Tua Tagovailoa (73 OVR)
Donít expect to see much Fitzmagic in the AWFL world, this will be Tuaís team from day 1. I canít recall Arlen ever having a very athletic QB in the past so I will be very interested to see what he does with Tua this cycle.

CB Byron Jones (88 OVR) Jones was one of the premier free agent signings this offseason and checks in as a top 10 CB in Madden. He will team with the underrated Xavien Howard (82) to give Miami their first real position of strength this cycle.

Building Blocks
TE Mike Gesicki (79 OVR)
Arlen is another guy who doesnít rely on TEís much (he even traded Kittle last cycle) but Gesicki might be a great tool to kick start Tuaís career. The Dolphins donít have a ton of weapons to start off with so he could get his share of looks in S1. Honorable mention here to WR Jakeem Grant (74) who has been more of a gadget/return player in previous cycle but could find himself being a legit offensive weapon in Arlenís offense this year.

CB Noah Igbinoghene (70 OVR) The Dolphins have many interesting young defensive players who I expect Arlen to turn into stars (DT Godchaux (76), MLB McMillian (76), DE Wilkins (74) and MLB Baker (73). However, Iggy is only 20 years old and has great physicals (91 spd, 92 acc, 89 agi, 88 cod). He wonít be forced into covering opposing teams best WRís each game with Jones and Howard ahead of him so he will be able to develop on his own terms.

Outlook
The Dolphins are the lowest rated team in the entire game but we all know that Arlen is capable of winning with any team. There are solid pieces on both sides of the ball but the lack of playmakers in S1 may make it tough in a division where there will be no easy games. Iím thinking Arlen leads the Dolphins to 8-8 or 9-7 season, just missing the playoffs and setting up his runs in S3 and S5.

New York Jets Owner-Pest
Key Players
HB Leveon Bell(87 OVR)
Last cycle, Pest was stuck on a Vikings team that had to be carried by their HB (D. Cook) and it may be a similar story for him in S1 this year. The Jets offense has a serious lack of weapons which does young QB Darnold (73) no favors. The Jets also are devoid of talent along the OL which means Bell is really going to have to get things moving on his own.

MLB CJ Mosley (85 OVR) After a big injury last year that had him out most of the season, New York really needs Mosley to show why he got that big contract last season.

Building Blocks
QB Sam Darnold (73 OVR)
Pest will make the most out of Darnold and even with some extra picks headed their way from the Adams trade, I suspect the Jets will be more concerned with plugging their numerous other holes. Sam may be the guy for the cycle.
DE Quinnen Williams (78 OVR) Williams is hoping to avoid being the next in a long line of Jetís 1st round busts. However, at only 22 years old and already one of the best defenders on the team, expect him to become among the best lineman in the league by S3.

Outlook
Following the Adams trade, this may actually be the lowest rated team in the league come cycle start. Pest is going to follow a very similar story to Arlen; elite player but how much will the team hold him back? Either way, with multiple 1sts in the vital first 2 drafts of AWFL, expect a precipitous rise to the top for this team.

New England Patriots Owner-Coach Lewis
Key Players
WR Julian Edelman (87 OVR)
This WR corp is just as bad as it was last year except they donít have the GOAT throwing to them. Edelman will really need to step up and be a weapon for Cam in S1. They have 5 WRs rated between 70-79 so hopefully one of them will be able to step up for the team.
CB Stephon Gilmore (99 OVR) Gilmore leads what will undoubtedly be one of the best defenses in the league again this year and what I think is the best secondary. Already the best CB in the league by far, he also has incredible depth behind him with J. McCourty (85),J. Jones (83) and JC Jackson (82) along with S D. McCourty (92) and P. Chung (83).

Building Blocks
LT Isaiah Wynn (79 OVR)
After missing all of last year, the 2018 first round pick is looking to bounce back strong. The OL is still a strength of this team at only 23, Wynn looks to be the future of the unit.
CB JC Jackson (82 OVR) Jackson has been overshadowed by some of his superstar teammates in the secondary but he is very good and still only 24 years old. He will be a cycle long starter and a pretty good one at that.

Outlook
I think the Patriots AWFL success will boil down to how much IRL football is going on and how much time Coach Lewis is having to dedicate to that. This guy knows his stuff and will make this team a tough out in each game. If he has the time to dedicate to the game, the Patriots could remain playoff contenders.

Best New Rivalry-Arlen vs Pest
I know some of the guys who play in TOP got a preview of this rivalry last cycle in that league. I think every single game these two play against each other will have huge implication in not only the division race but also the conference and playoff picture.

Best out of division game-Week 4 Seahawks (Danny) at Dolphins (Arlen)
Arlen will get no warm-up time as he kicks off the season with two division opponents (Patriots, Bills) and then gets to face off against the team I think is the Super Bowl favorite in the NFC in week 4. This game may show whether the Dolphins will be contenders in year 1 or if it will take a year or two of building.
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